Entertainment And News

'If You Only Tip $3, Just Keep Your Money' — A Server's Important Message To Those Who Dine Out

Photo: Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko | Pexels
waitress serving customer in restaurant

Tipping has been the source of many arguments online, especially with the addition of the electronic screen showing options for tipping in all sectors of the service industry. The arguments often center around how much should people tip. People have varying opinions, with some believing that tipping shouldn't exist and others believing that people should be tipped according to customer service.

Regardless of what people think about tipping, it's here to stay, at least for now — and one server has presented an issue with the current state of the tipping culture.

The server stated that they would rather not be tipped at all than receive a small tip on a big bill.

The server took to Reddit to vent their frustration with an experience that they had working as a server at a higher-end steakhouse. The person detailed how they would come across tables that often rack up $100+ bills just to tip two to four dollars. They express sympathy for people who may not be able to tip but present their frustrations with how people can easily spend a lot of money on food just to give a small tip.

The server ends by stating that they would rather not be tipped at all if people tip very little on a big bill, finding it offensive after working hard to serve the customers. And they're not the only one who feels so strongly about tipping.

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Many people believe tipping culture has gotten out of control.

The tipping culture has changed significantly in recent years. CNBC reported that the debate surrounding tipping came to a head during the height of the pandemic as businesses relied more on tipping to stay afloat. Traditional tip jars were replaced with electronic screens that showed the various options available for tips for things people were necessarily obligated to tip on before, some not giving an option to not tip. Sometimes, places add service charges on top of gratuities as well.

Nowadays, there is pressure to tip for everything, which doesn’t sit well for many people. Tipping isn’t mandatory but there is judgment if people don’t tip or don’t tip a certain amount, especially when people who don’t want to tip have to go out of their way to choose a tipping option in order to put in zero dollars as a tip.

Many have talked about traveling overseas, whether to or from the U.S. and getting a bit of a culture shock, especially when it comes to paying their bills at restaurants. If you go out of the country, there are countries where servers don’t accept tips, which isn’t necessary since the staff gets paid a livable wage.

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So why is the tipping culture still prevalent when other countries have proven to be doing fine without it? In the U.S., people in the service industry often rely on tips to make a living, as they make less than minimum wage while their tips are meant to equal up to minimum wage. So if people aren't tipping, they're not making the money.

The cost of living continues to increase while the wages are largely stagnated, making tipping more necessary than ever.

Abolishing tipping culture is easier said than done.

Some businesses are opting to do away with tipping, finding it intrusive — but is this doing more harm than good? There have been places that have adopted the ‘no tipping’ model but have run into the struggle of absorbing higher wages to offset the change. Getting rid of tipping completely poses an issue as that would cause restaurants in competitive markets to close as prices increase and fluctuate.

It’s easy to say that the tipping culture needs to be abolished and replaced with better wages for servers. But there are many factors to take into consideration, specifically how it affects employees’ pay.

With this in mind, what needs to be done is restructure the tipping culture and how we pay our workers.

RELATED: Restaurant Adds 18% Gratuity To Bill For Diners Who Are Eating Alone

Amani Semper is an editorial intern for the Entertainment & News team.